Berryman Adventure 2012 Commentary


09/27/2012 - POST-RACE Update

THE BERRYMAN ADVENTURE - A Play in 12-Hour and 24-Hour Acts

SCENE: Deep, deep Missouri forest; small clearing at edge of crystal clear lake; a perfect 65 degrees as fog rising off lake is spotlighted by the morning sunrise

THE CHARACTERS: 210 Adventure seeking, adrenaline-pumping athletes with the courage to take on whatever the day has to offer....

STAGE DIRECTION: Jaws music creeping in the background ..... duh-duh..., duh-duh..., duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-DUH-DUH-DUH...

AT RISE: The Berryman Adventure. Even the name is intimidating.   With race headquarters at Council Bluff Lake, surrounded by brutal single track trails, stump filled lakes, thousands of acres of deep wood-forest, and requiring plotting on the course, optional checkpoints, several mode changes, and for some - finishing by canoe in the dark and fog; Adventure Racing Heaven?   Yes.

At 8:00 am on September 22, 12-Hour and 24-Hour teams took off from the Council Bluff Lake Beach Pavilion on a "Long Day's Journey Into Night" - Bonk Hard Racing style.

With picture perfect weather, the epic race began with all racers TREKKING out in different directions for approximately 2.0 miles, seeking 4 checkpoints before arriving at the Wild Boar Hollow Boat Ramp, the Berryman Mega TA.   The race that began together, now splits apart as 12-Hour and 24-Hour teams began their separate journeys.


12-Hour racers saddled up and took off on a 5 mile BIKING leg to the Martin TA where 12-Hour Clue Sheet #2 was presented for on-the-course plotting and planning of a massive 11 checkpoint orienteering section.   A challenging O-course lay before the teams.   This IS The Berryman.   A tough orienteering section was expected. Teams were put to the test of pure back-woods navigation in a lonely place with only a map and compass.

After emerging from the 7.5+ miles of FOOT travel, racers returned to the Martin TA, collected CP18 and were given the 12-Hour Clue Sheet #3 which disclosed 2 new biking checkpoints.

It was back on the BIKE for 7.5 miles, picking up the new checkpoints and arriving back at Wild Boar Hollow Boat Ramp for an on-the-course GEAR CHECK and a moment to resupply from the gear bags dropped earlier.

Now in the afternoon hours with varying stages of wind, teams began a 7.0+ mile CANOE section on Council Bluff Lake while collecting 5 water CPs in any order, dodging tree stumps, and returning to the Wild Boar Hollow Boat Ramp.

It was time for 12-Hour Clue Sheet #4, the plotting of 3 BIKING CPs and the formation of a route back to Race HQ for the FINISH.


Simultaneously, back at the ranch, err.... The Wild Boar Hollow Boat Ramp, the 24-Hour racers jumped in canoes for an early morning 7.0 mile CANOE-O on Council Bluff Lake, collecting 5 water checkpoints, before returning to the Wild Boar Hollow Boat Ramp and punching CP11.

At this point, 24-Hour racers had the option to begin collecting 5 additional checkpoints on BIKE anytime prior to reaching CP20. Some chose to start this collection, some chose to continue on to the next TA.

Enough.   No really, Enough was the next TA as 24-Hour racers took off on a 4.5 mile BIKE ride to the south end of Council Bluff Lake, where the volunteers at Enough handed out a Clue Sheet Strip indicating the UTM of an additional undisclosed CP.   With 11 orienteering CPs to discover, and using a different passport, teams scoured the woods on FOOT for approximately 11 miles before returning to Enough and collecting CP13.

After emerging from (and surviving) the Big-O, 24-Hour teams made their way on BIKE to Palmer Lake for a second CANOE leg (and a GEAR CHECK).   En route, many teams encountered the brutal east side of the Council Bluff Lake trail. In addition, several of the additional biking checkpoints could be collected on the way.

Palmer Lake is a canoeing playground.   On the map, it looks like a simple three mile paddle.   The life size version offers weed infested waters, dead tree slalom courses, and a couple of portages to get to those pesky "cutoff" cove CPs. :)

Departing Palmer Lake gave the 24-Hour teams their last opportunity to collect the rest of the 5 biking CPs that must be found before CP20.   After CP20, it was on to the Martin TA with many teams choosing a risky bike whack vs. the Ozark Trail and Martin Road.

At the Martin TA, plotting 11 orienteering CPs to discover, 24-Hour teams took to the woods to tackle the same challenging O-Course the 12-Hour teams encountered earlier ... at night!!!   Yep.   This is still The Berryman and now a new set of racers had the fortune of pure-back-woods navigation in that same lonely place seeking the same treasures discovered previously by the 12-Hour teams.   But the lure of previously dropped gear bags kept many teams at this TA for a while to enjoy refreshment, a nice fire, and perhaps a nap.

After surviving the creatures of the night (and the demons in your head), the 24-Hour teams received their final instructions ... a trail ride back to the Wild Boar Hollow boat ramp, pass a GEAR CHECK, and then back into the CANOES (a third time), for many a star filled cruise on foggy Council Bluff Lake.

After about 3.5 miles of paddling, teams were greeted with the sight of the well lit Bonk Hard Racing finish arch in the distance, and the welcome home ringing of Bonk Hard cowbells echoing across the lake.  The final steps of carrying canoes and gear, up hill, across the finish line brought the racers to the end of their very, very long outing.


It was 2-Person Male team, 
Dirty Guys - Clayton Cummings and LeGrande Rives, finishing strong, first overall in 8:54; followed by second place 4-Person Coed Team, Iowa Wolfpack - Joe Froehlich, Paul Wolf, Brad Mihm, Vanessa Beyer in 9:14. 2-Person Coed team, Out2Play -Will & Laura Scherff claimed 3rd place overall in a time of 9:30.

12-Hour Division winners were:
2-Person Coed:
1) 9:30 (30 pts) Out2Play - Will & Laura Scheff
2) 12:51 (30pts) Old ShoesDavid Davis & Sarah Fisher
3) 12:42 (29 pts) Two Cat Climbers - Dylan Hayden & Sabina Hlinsenksa

2-Person Male:
1) 8:54 (30 pts) Dirty Guys Clayton Cummings & LeGrande Rives
2) 9:52 (30 pts) Mall Walkers - Corey Bandel & Matt Murell
3) 10:01 (30 pts) Epic Machinery Brian Hey & Scott Kiefner

4-Person Coed:
1) 9:14 (30 pts) Iowa Wolfpack - Joe Froehlich, Paul Wolf, Brad Mihm, Vanessa Beyer
2) 9:56 (30 pts) 33 Down - Jeff Ryan, Jason Noakes, Josh Borgmeyer, Sunny Gilbert
3) 10:04 (30 pts) Team Fusion/Dynamic Earth - Jason Bettis, Diane Diebold, Ashley O'Reilly, Shawn Gates

4-Person Male:
1) 11:25 (30 pts) True North - Steve Meyer, Eric Zeller, Keith Duplain, Greg Perry
2) 12:30 (30 pts) STSC - Matthew Scherrer, Jack Senneff, Bob Koplar, Brian Kaveney
3) 12:53 (30 pts) Unplugged Adventures - Jon VanDis, Brandon Hoch, BJ Bengard, Quentin Huisman


GearJunkie/WEDALI (4-Person Coed) - Justin Bakken, Emily Korsch, Andrei Karpov, Scott Erlandson - celebrated their first place overall finish. Bushwhacker (4-Person Coed) - Rachel Furman, Mike Garrison, Tim Swanson, JP Bordeleau - followed shortly after with a 18:12 finish for second place overall, and Alpine Shop (4-Person Coed) - Jeff Sona, Carrie Sona, David Frei, Doug Nishimura - turned in a time of 19:47 for a 3rd place overall standing.

24-Hour Division winners were:
2-Person Coed:
1) 24:24 (37 pts) Eyes of the World - Chuck White & Kim Chou
2) 24:24 (37 pts) Eyes of the World2 - Don Bart & Heather Kluch
3) 20:55 (35 pts) That's Going to Leave a Mark - JoAnne & Chris Steineman

2-Person Male:
1) 25:31 (55 pts) Team Greenhorn - Bob Hoffman & Matthew Crowell
2) 25:31 (53 pts) Lost But Found - Ryan Stalder & Phil Rhoads
3) 24:38 (44 pts) Hoosier Daddies - Todd Rochleau & Justin Head

4-Person Coed:
1) 17:58 (55 pts) GearJunkie/WEDALI - Justin Bakken, Emily Korsch, Andrei Karpov, Scott Erlandson
2) 18:12 (55 pts) Bushwhacker - Rachel Furman, Mike Garrison, Tim Swanson, JP Bordeleau
3) 19:47 (55 pts) Alpine Shop - Jeff Sona, Carrie Sona, David Frei, Doug Nishimura

4-Person Male:
1) 23:07 (31 pts) Advengineers - Keith Cooper, Steve Dietiker, Kyle Knudten, Nathan Graves

At the pre-race meeting, it was Duck Sauce team member, Sam Koplar, whose name was drawn and Sam went home with a super sweet kuat Sherpa bike rack! (retail value of $449.)


How do you thank people who dedicate their weekend to making your event run smoothly?   There are no words for it, and "Thank You" never seems to be enough.   If we have no volunteers, there simply would be no race.   They are the best! Please join us in thanking these individuals for making the 2012 Berryman Adventure such a success.   If you "like" this entry on Facebook, our volunteers and sponsors regard this acknowledgement as appreciation.   Please join us in thanking the following:

  • The French Family - Kevin, Tamera & daughters along with Michelle Lawrence, managed the Wild Boar Mega TA.
  • Dan Dougan & son, Cam , handled the Martin TA.
  • Carmen Steketee Hallock & Sandy Vaughn managed the Enough TA.
  • Emma Gossett & Nathan Henning handled the Palmer Lake TA.
  • Mary WelterKatie Welter, & Bill Watts photographed racers throughout the day.
  • Doug & Diana ArendtDorothy Frieze, and Riley Thompson assisted with course set-up, registration, photos, time logging, food, gear transportation, as well as clean-up.

If you know Bonk Hard Racing, you know we have the best sponsors on the planet.   Shop their stores, on-line or in person; check out their services and products.   Top notch.

Rack Love continues and kuat racks remain the most impressive, functional, useful, and sleek looking bike racks on the market! Bonk Hard Racing loves kuat racks and we sincerely thank kuat for their support throughout the entire year.

Columbia Sportswear:
Columbia sportswear is cool and comfortable!!   We thank Columbia for prize shirts, jackets, watches, and backpacks!   Columbia knows sportswear.

Sleeves and socks - Best EVER!! Swiftwick compression socks are a favorite among our adventure racers.  An extremely comfortable toe box that keeps your feet dry and comfy!! Made right here in the USA.   How about those custom Bonk Hard Racing Swiftwick sleeves?   Awesome.

All our racers know the importance of Zanfel.   Zanfel continues to deliver a top quality, fast acting, poison ivy wash that protects racers from serious reactions.   Six lucky racers took home tubes of glorious relief!!!   Zanfel.

We welcome Moosejaw as a sponsor in 2012!   Whether you are biking, camping, hiking, running, climbing, Moosejaw carries outdoor gear and clothing for any adventure.   The new Kansas City Plaza location opened in September.   We thank Moosejaw for the wonderful clothing and gear they placed on our prize table.

Bass' River Resort:
If you have been racing with us for the past year, you know that Bass' River Resort is our chosen canoe supplier for Bonk Hard Racing events. Bass' continue to provide top quality service and gear.   They are on-time and on-location delivering clean, organized equipment for our racers.   We appreciate their continued service and dedication to making Bonk Hard Racing events shine. Stephan & Julie Bass welcomed all 210 racers to Bass' River Resort for a pre-race meeting and wonderful pre-race meal.   Many of our racers camped at Bass', stayed in the cabins, and lodge houses.

Bass' River Resort, located in Steelville, MO, offers super Ozark camping, canoeing, kayaking, and rafting on two lovely bodies of water. We hope you and your family will arrange a stay at Bass' River Resort.


We sincerely thank Gail Blair from the US Forest Service, Potosi/Fredericktown Ranger District, for securing the venue, processing and approving the land use, opening gates, staffing park help, and arranging numerous other items in order for the race to run smoothly.

In addition, we sincerely thank Stacy Wakefield of Bearpaw Recreation who provided the delicious beef, mac & cheese, green beans and rolls as our post-race food, as well as opening up the showers and bathrooms at Council Bluff Lake, making arrangements for parking, ice, wood, and staff assistance.

We hope you had a FULL-PACKED adventure and enjoyed the variety of mode changes, known elements verses unknown elements, plotting on the course, the requirement of thinking on your feet, and careful consideration of route choices.

This IS The Berryman. A long standing tradition of tough adventure racing.   If you participated in this race, you should be extremely proud, no matter what your score. Wear that orange shirt with pride.   You deserve it.

We hope you had a wonderful adventure and will join us again soon.

Gary & Ellen Thompson
Bonk Hard Racing, LLC

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